SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal judge in San Francisco said Tuesday he is disinclined to suspend California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage while a lawsuit challenging it as a violation of the U.S. Constitution proceeds in his court.
In a tentative order, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Vaughn Walker said he’d rather move directly to a speedy trial on the case’s merits than grant a prelimi nary injunction that would temporarily allow gay nuptials.
“Because entering a pre liminary injunction may raise novel concerns that could be avoided through a prompt decision on the merits, the court’s tentative plan is instead to proceed expedi tiously to trial,” Walker wrote. California Attorney General Jerry Brown and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who are defendants in the suit, had argued against staying the ban, known as Proposition 8.
They argued that allowing same-sex couples to resume marrying while the litigation advances would create unnecessary confusion, both for the couples and the state.
But they had also urged Walker to take up the case quickly. Brown also has sided with the plaintiffs — an unmarried lesbian couple from Northern California and an unmarried gay couple from Southern California — in maintaining that Proposition 8 violates their civil rights.
A hearing on the injunc tion had been scheduled for Thursday. Walker wants to use the time instead for set ting a trial schedule and out lining the issues he wants lawyers on both sides of the case to address moving for ward.